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Stockholm dressed for royal wedding

Stockholm has been dressed up in flowers, flags and royal portraits for the fairytale wedding between Crown Princess Victoria and gym owner Daniel Westling.

The couple will exchange vows in Stockholm Cathedral on Saturday - the same date as Victoria's father King Carl XVI Gustaf wed Queen Silvia 34 years ago - in front of nearly 1,000 royals and dignitaries from across the world.

After the wedding ceremony, the newly married couple will head a grand procession through central Stockholm before boarding the royal barge which will sail them to the palace.

The day will be rounded off with a lavish banquet in the palace, hosted by the king and queen.

It will be the first royal wedding in Europe since 2008, when Denmark's Prince Joachim wed Marie Cavallier of France.

"This is Sweden's 15 minutes in the limelight," said Herman Lindqvist, a journalist and historian who watches the royals. "I think you can feel the expectation and excitement. People think it will be fun."

Since June 6, Sweden's national day, the capital has been celebrating under the banner "Love Stockholm 2010" in anticipation of the wedding - the top event on the social calendar.

Lavish flower arrangements, in urns and baskets, adorn the streets and Sweden's furniture giant Ikea has erected a two-storey tent replica of the princess' castle.

Stockholmers were preparing to hold private champagne parties and store windows displayed wedding regalia in Sweden's yellow and blue colours.

"I will celebrate with pink bubbly on the rooftop and watch the procession," 38-year-old Roger Lejonqvist said. "It's something of a historic event."

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